You might have seen the PSA in which a teenage cyber-bully reads her hateful words from the podium of a school assembly. The absurdity of the scene illustrates a disconnect that often exists between our online and offline behavior—when emboldened by the impersonal buffer of a social network, we might say or do things we never would in person.
In a post at his Web Ink Now blog, David Meerman Scott encourages readers to treat social-networking sites as if they're cocktail parties. In other words, to interact with others in the same way you would at a face-to-face industry mixer. To make his point, he asks questions like these:
- Do you go into a large gathering filled with a few acquaintances and tons of people you do not know and shout "BUY MY PRODUCT"?
- Do you go into a cocktail party and ask every single person you meet for a business card before you agree to speak with them?
- Do you listen more than you speak?
"Sure, you can go to a cocktail party and hit everyone up as a sales lead while blabbing on about what your company does," says Scott. "But that approach is unlikely to make you popular."
Your Marketing Inspiration: Before you say something at Facebook or elsewhere, ask yourself if you'd say it to the person standing next to you. Unless you're really obnoxious, a "yes" means it's probably okay.
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